It sounded like a bunch of centaurs were following an exercise video upstairs, right above my bed this morning. Interesting visual, but at 7 AM there ain’t a damn thing more fascinating and beautiful than the backs of my eyelids underneath the blankets.
The sound clarified, resolving itself in my ears the way blurry, doubled vision clears up. There was maybe only one centaur upstairs. It clarified a little further to where it sounded pretty much like what it was: a large woman — or slender man — doing a bunch of jumping jacks.
The apartment immediately above my bed belongs to a guy named Robbie (or Robert) Guertin. Those of you who are into your bigger indie bands will recognize that name as the guy who plays guitars and keyboards for the band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.
He’s a nice enough guy, as near as I can tell. We go about our business and say “hi” politely when we see one another. A couple years ago I interviewed him and photographed the band at the Virgin Fest and he was real nice then, too.
A few months ago, Robbie and/or a female friend were practicing some music in their apartment above me at about 1 AM on a school night. And the song wasn’t bad, either, as near as I could tell through the ceiling. It did go on, as songs do when you’re practicing them at home and you want to get them just right.
And after a while I had just had enough, but I felt awful about it. I like music, miss playing music, and I know what it’s like to have to work some music out in the apartment, where you feel so comfortable but sounds travel so far.
I never thought I’d be that dude, but here I was, banging on somebody’s door to stop the rock ‘n roll because I had a big meeting in the morning. Robbie was real nice and understanding about it, and everything was cool.
Then came the jumping jacks this morning. And even though it has been maybe six months since the band practice, I was like “oh for FUCK’s SAKE. NOW WHAT.” I am an ugly, short-tempered thing before noon, barely rational after eight hours’ sleep and 3 cups of coffee.
But getting woke up by your upstairs neighbor’s jumping jacks workout … that’s just the worst thing about New York right there.
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